IS BELIEVING EVOLUTIONARY CREATION DANGEROUS TO YOUR FAITH? by Edmond Sanganyado

IS BELIEVING EVOLUTIONARY CREATION DANGEROUS TO YOUR FAITH? by Edmond Sanganyado

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[Editor’s Note:  We believe Columnist With a View (columnistwithaview.com) is exactly that!  We do not expect all readers to agree with the opinions of all of our contributors (even me!).  We publish a wide variety of opinion on politics, religion and current issues. Edmond Sanganyado is an intelligent, thought-provoking young man, and we appreciate his contributions to our magazine.  This current article is a cogent discussion of Evolutionary Science vs Creationism.  We felt it was worthy of publication in our magazine.]

Is believing evolutionary creation dangerous to your faith?

I began battling arguments about evolutionary creation when I was in fourth grade. My grandmother believed in evolutionary creationism or theistic evolution. She always told us – her grandkids – that monkeys and baboons were our ancestors. And the All-Powerful One created a small bug that lived in water and over the years as the conditions on earth changed the bug changed until humans were formed.

Edmond Sanganyado is a graduate student in Riverside, CA where he lives with his wife and two sons. He is the author of several Christian Living books and 400+ blog posts. Sanganyado's articles have appeared in Columnist with a View (columnistwithaview.com) by the author's permission.
FRONTIER METHODIST PREACHERS by Ernie Tucker

FRONTIER METHODIST PREACHERS by Ernie Tucker

My mother, born in 1890, was a Virginian through and through, and like so many from her state, was much attuned to the past. She never tossed anything that might have historical value. Forty years after her death while wading through her papers, I found a faded one-page type account of the tragic death of a Methodist preacher and his wife in Lincoln (now Adair) County, Kentucky. Their names were John and Rhoda Tucker.

The fact that they had my family name piqued my interest. They were killed in 1792 in an ambush while strolling outside a small fort or “station” (a fortified house), called in some reports “Tucker Fort,” in the same year Kentucky was separating from Virginia. There weren’t many details about this incident in this initial story except that John Tucker was a Methodist Episcopal (today we would say Methodist) minister and that he and his wife had six children who escaped death by hiding out all night in a canebrake in the company of a black woman, probably a slave.

painting-1023411_1280I have since discovered that the Indians responsible for this massacre were tracked down by the local militia in nearby Tennessee and killed. Early on in my attempt to find out more about this incident and the John Tucker family, I stumbled upon another Methodist frontier minister, a Samuel Tucker, who, while leading a party of settlers in a flotilla of flatboats down the Ohio, likely in the fall of 1790 was intercepted by Shawnees and their allies near present day Maysville (then Limestone) where all hell broke loose from both the Kentucky and Ohio shores and from canoes in the river.

Many of the settlers were killed or wounded including the Reverent Mr. Tucker who, heading the fight, was shot in the chest and died shortly thereafter. He was buried on the Kentucky side of the river in an unmarked grave to avoid Indian desecration. Three eye-witness accounts of this gruesome battle are to be found in A.H. Redford’s The History of Methodism in Kentucky, published in 1868, which now can be found online.

With some of my mother’s historical genes lurking in my body, I could not let these two stories about Methodist preachers with my surname rest, so I set about on a quest to find what I could about these preachers, their families, and the deaths.

John, I found, was from Virginia, but since the Virginia records for the first Federal Census of 1790 were destroyed when Washington was torched in the War of 1812, I had to look elsewhere. Expecting a long, exhausting search through Methodist repositories like those at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia or at Asbury Theological in Wilmore, Kentucky, or tax records of Virginia in the early 1790s, I decided to do a last minute check on the internet and found that since my first attempts several years ago, a great deal of information on these two families and their histories has been posted.

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The Reverend Mr. Samuel Tucker had been reared in Washington County, Pennsylvania, not far from the frontier village of Pittsburgh. He was born in 1771 to a pious Methodist Episcopal layman named John Tucker (d. 1820) and his first wife (name unknown) who died young, john and his second wife, known only as Henrietta, with his two young sons John and Samuel, moved to western Pennsylvania in 1775 and staked out a “tomahawk claim” to some 300 acres. Samuel became a minister as a late teenager and was “admitted on trial” in 1790, the same year of his fateful trip down the Ohio to Kentucky. He was about nineteen when he was killed.

Ernie Tucker, a resident of Ashland, Kentucky was a professor at Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) until his retirement. He's quite the historian, naturalist, raconteur, and writer. In this true story, we learn that he has, on a whim, turned his attention to genealogy. Ernie is a regular contributor to Columnist With a View (columnistwithaview.com).
WHINING DOESN’T HELP THE CHRISTIAN CAUSE by L. Milton Hankins

WHINING DOESN’T HELP THE CHRISTIAN CAUSE by L. Milton Hankins

Milt Hankins Columnist With a View

Milt Hankins
Columnist With a View

sunset-1012477_1280Recently, I read an article on the Internet listing several “Christian” businesses which, according to the article, included Alaskan Airlines, Pura Vida, Zondervan Publishing House and, of course, Chick-fil-a. Christian schools, publishing houses, thrift stores and other enterprises owned and operated b the Salvation Army, the Mormon Church and various other denominations also fit the category. None is threatened!

I came across this article while researching the idea that a concerted effort, a consolidated pressure group whose goal it is to destroy Christianity, is afoot in this country. What movement? Where? As I have pointed out on several occasions, a significant majority of Americans (I, by family heritage, among them) are Christians.

It is virtually impossible to drive along any major highway or street in this country without encountering Christian churches. Architecturally, they are hard to miss! None appear to be in danger of imminent attack. Outwardly, at least, they appear to be doing rather well.church-1229135_1280

What is underway, I suspect, is an understated movement to prevent Christian churches from becoming a major political force in this country. America is not, and never was meant to be, a theocracy. We are a nation made of the fabric of diversity and the freedom of persuasion.

In 1962, for example, the U. S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling which stated that “official prayer had no place in public education.” The decision has been widely misunderstood. The court had no vendetta against religion.supreme-court-545534_1280 (1) “The court did not rule that students cannot pray on their own; the justices said that government officials cannot compose a prayer for students to recite.”

In 1963, the Court handed down another ruling which said school-sponsored Bible reading and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer was unconstitutional.

Both rulings, despite being erroneously interpreted by Christians, were appropriate decisions. No child should be forced to participate in a prayer which goes against his or her personal religious beliefs, and no child should have been discriminated against because he or she chose not to participate in reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Let me make it perfectly clear: The church and the home are the fitting places for religious education.child-109157_1280 They are suitable places for prayer. They are proper places for Christians to recite the Lord’s Prayer. The church and the home are not the only place where these activities are acceptable, but public schools should not be among them!

In the late 1700s, my ancestors were driven from the Crown Colony of New Jersey because they were Baptists. They did not whine that the Crown was trying to destroy Christianity. They packed up their belongings and moved to the western frontier where they could practice their religion as they purposed in their hearts.

When churches are torched, bibles are consigned to the flames, ministers are martyred, and it is illegal to openly profess one’s Christian beliefs–then Christianity will be under attack! Until then, can we move away from the flammable rhetoric and paranoia which does Christianity no good whatsoever?cross-66700_1280

L. Milton Hankins lives in Ashland, Kentucky. He writes a weekly column (Mondays) for the Huntington (WV) Herald-Dispatch. He is the author of three books and is the editor and publisher of columnistwithaview.com
ALL MUSLIMS ARE NOT JIHADISTS by L. Milton Hankins, Th.D.

ALL MUSLIMS ARE NOT JIHADISTS by L. Milton Hankins, Th.D.

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            A reader sent me a list of unspeakably vicious verses from the Qur’an.  The aim, I think, was to convince me that Muslims, in general, want to destroy anyone who does not believe as they do.

            The verses only reassured me that it is Islamic extremist terrorist groups and their dupes who advocate such tactics…girl-685149_1280not ordinary, average Muslims!  Most Muslims have no interest in jihad, defined “in Islam’s Qur’an as a holy war, a war ordained by God….” Christianity has a history of jihad also–the Crusades which were carried out against Muslims, and the Inquisitions, where church councils attempted to annihilate all non-believers, apostates and infidels.

            In the Old Testament we find equally disgusting and cruel behaviors, which were not only practiced by the Hebrew (Jewish) armies but were sanctioned, even ordered by God, who, by the way, is the same God worshipped by Muslims.  The Christian God is divided into a Trinity, while the God of Islam is Allah, period. blue-mosque-908510_1280

            Following are a few examples of terrorist language in the Old Testament:  “Thus says the Lord of hosts…’Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” (I Samuel 15:1ff)  Read the entire chapter of Ezekiel 9, where you will find this verse:  “Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.”

            In Psalm 2, we learn that God will give to “His Anointed…the nations (sometimes translated “Gentiles”) as thine inheritance. And the very ends of the earth as thy possession.” (Psalm 2:2b; 8-9)  How is “His Anointed” to accomplish this?  “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt shatter them like earthenware.”

            According to Isaiah 13:1ff, God had the following in store for the Babylonians: “Anyone who is found will be thrust through, and anyone who is captured will fall by the sword. Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.” (Isaiah 13:15-16)  In Isaiah 13:18, when the Medes, with God’s permission, came up against the Babylonians, “…They will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, nor will their eye pity children.”crusader-154623_1280

            Hosea 13:1-16 tells what God planned for Ephraim and, particularly Samaria, “Samaria will be held guilty, for she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, their little ones will be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open.” (Hosea 13:16)cart-279226_1280

                It is not my intention to cast aspersions on the Judeo-Christian Bible.  I am saying it is unwise to take verses from “holy” books and, without regard for context, unfairly portray entire groups of people.  President Obama said in a recent visit to a mosque:  “An attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths.”  He was right!

L. Milton Hankins is the editor and publisher for COLUMNISTWITHAVIEW (columnistwithaview.com) He is an editorial writer for the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch. His column appears every Monday morning. He is also the author of A Sensible Theology for Thinking People. He lives with his wife, Deborah, and Jose (dog) and Pearl (cat) in Ashland, Kentucky.
MORE UNDERSTANDING OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY NEEDED by L. Milton Hankins

MORE UNDERSTANDING OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY NEEDED by L. Milton Hankins

Milt Hankins Columnist With a View

Milt Hankins
Columnist With a View

          I am not surprised that many Christians are offended when confronted with basic facts about their religion which seem to be familiar only to theologians and Bible scholars. After all, the vast majority of Christians have neither taken a course in Church History nor considered the quality of life in first century Palestine.

          Christians were taught most of what they know in Sunday schools by well-meaning lay teachers and from snippets of the Bible generally read out-of-sequence with little or no regard for context.

          I am surprised when I say to someone that Jesus was a Jew, and their astonished retort is, “No, he wasn’t. He was a Christian!”

          I am appalled when I read, as I did in a Letter to the Editor in a recent issue of The (Huntington, WV) Herald-Dispatch, a reference to the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible as “the Bible Jesus used.”  All one has to do is “google it” to learn “The King James Version (KJV), also known as the Authorized Version (AV) or King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611.”

          Then, a host of sincerely, well-meaning but wrong folks are ready to do battle when I tell them the earliest converts were required to become Jews (including the rite of circumcision) before they could become Christians! This issue was taken up by the first church council in Jerusalem around AD50.

          The most aghast reaction comes when I share with folks that none of the earliest Christians were Trinitarian. None, I say! The doctrine of the Trinity was not fully formulated and approved until the Council of Nicaea in the fourth century.

          Now, to the life and travels of Jesus…. There were no commonly-accepted amenities in those days. No motels! No combs or brushes! No toothpaste! No bathrooms! No toilet tissue! When Jesus and his disciples arrived at homes where they were invited to spend the night they were tired, sweaty, smelly and with the disheveled appearance of travel-weary vagabonds.

          The Bible as we know it? There was no Bible in manageable, readable form for several centuries following the time of Jesus and St. Paul. The closest any church council came to agreeing as to what should be in the Canon (cf. the Protestant and Douay versions) was the Third Synod of Carthage (AD397).  It is important to mention that, for the most part, the proceedings of this Synod have been lost.

          Complicating matters further, if there had been bibles for the common folk, I seriously doubt the people of Jesus’ day could’ve read them. They were mostly illiterate. Often I think that modern-day folks who constantly misrepresent their faith with outright untruths and lack of knowledge of their religious background are, too. Either illiterate or ignorant….

          My friends, your pastor should have already told you these things in Bible study; but then, he or she wanted to keep his or her job. What a shame!

L. Milton Hankins is the publisher and editor of COLUMNIST WITH A VIEW (columnistwithaview.com). He is also the author of A Sensible Theology for Thinking People.